Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
Boss DD-20 is a powerful delay packed inside Boss’ twin pedal enclosure, usually reserved for their high end digital pedals. It’s a step up from their “single” pedal delays, such as DD-3, DD-5 and others.
- 23 second of delay
- LC display
- 4 use defined presets
- SoS (Sound on sound) feature – record a sample and loop it
- Tap tempo
- Stereo input and output
- Headphone output
- Bunch of modes, from vanilla digital, over to analog and tape simulation to some funky modes such as wrap, twist and reverse. If used subtly, modulate mod can be interesting as it adds some modulation to echoes making the sound bigger.
If for some reason you need more than 23 seconds of delay, there’s a trick how to double that time to 46 seconds. Pan mode alternates echoes between the two output jacks. To extend delay time to 46 seconds, you just need to mute one channel by inserting any guitar cable into B output. We’ll still use one output, but now we’ll get every other echo, effectively doubling the delay time.
These delays from other manufacturers cost about the same as DD-20:
What I like about it?
- Being able to save presets and restore them quickly is a very useful thing. Basic delay pedals don’t have that but all the modern dual-pedals do. Four user presets seems enough.
- 23 seconds of delay is plenty.
- Having a display is nice. It’s cool that it can be set to be back-lit always or just when changing.
- Time knob is easy to work with – normally it has fine increments but when pushed it switches to coarse increments which makes it easy and fast to dial in delay time.
- Very well built inside a metal enclosure.
- Stereo mode is a nice feature for folks that can make the best out of it. I don’t have two cab simulators to utilize this, but can imagine it being useful.
What I don’t like about it?
- Goes through batteries very fast although it needs 6 AA 1.5V batteries which have at least twice the capacity of a single 9V battery.
I’m not a true-bypass junkie, but bypass circuit on this one isn’t transparent at all. Bypass mode is a bit louder and to my ears has more mids. Luckily, I use graphic EQ pedal, so I’m able to shape the EQ to compensate, but for someone that may be a problem. I have recorded the clip, first riff is played without the DD-20 in the signal chain and second one is with DD-20 but in bypass mode. Click here to listen and judge for yourself.I’m taking this back. This is probably due to the difference in output impedance of DD-20 compared to my other pedals and not the bypass circuit. My Palmer PDI-09 which goes after the DD-20 is likely reacting differently to different signal impedance.
- 23 seconds is enough for delay but I’d like to see more for “sound on sound” feature.
- To make the best out of some delay modes (dual, twist, wrap) you really need to read the manual because setting them up is not intuitive at all.
I bought it used but in “as new” great shape for half the price it retails. If I was looking for a brand new pedal, I’d also consider some newer pedals like TC Electronic Nova Delay or DigiTech Timebender. The fact that DD-20 has been on the market for 7 years now makes it easy to find good deals for used pedals.
The only deal breaker I can imagine would be for folks that don’t like the way it colors the sound and don’t have a way to compensate for bypass circuit coloration. I’m happy to have it, especially considering the price I payed.
Click on a thumbnail to play the video on YouTube.